As a part of the global campaign to free WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and whistleblower Chelsea Manning, the Socialist Equality Party (SEP) and the International Youth and Students for Social Equality (IYSSE) in Sri Lanka are organising meetings and demonstrations.
The initial events will be in the northern town of Jaffna, the capital city of Colombo, and Hatton in the central plantation district.
Assange, persecuted for his exposure of US war crimes, was illegally seized by British police on bogus charges of breaking bail conditions from the Ecuadorian embassy in London where he had sought asylum. He now faces extradition to the US on charges of espionage, and jail of up to 170 years as part of the Trump administration’s effects to silence and destroy him.
Manning has been imprisoned indefinitely for bravely refusing to testify against Assange.
The International Editorial Board of the World Socialist Web Site issued a powerful call on June 20 for the formation of a Global Defense Committee to secure the freedom of Assange and Manning. The SEP campaign in Sri Lanka, along with its sister parties internationally, is part of building a movement on the basis of this call.
Assange has rendered an enormous service to the international working class by exposing the war crimes of the US and its allies. He has struck a blow against the drive to war so graphically demonstrated recently when Trump ordered an attack on Iran and only withdrew it just ten minutes before it was to be launched.
If Assange is silenced, it will encourage governments everywhere to further attack democratic rights including freedom of expression. In Sri Lanka, the government has exploited the Easter Sunday terrorist bombings to impose emergency laws, deploy the military, gag freedom of expression and curb the democratic rights of working people.
The SEP and IYSSE call upon workers, students, youth, artists, journalists, and intellectuals to support our campaign to free Assange and Manning and to build the meetings and demonstrations in Sri Lanka as a part of the worldwide campaign.
- July 10 at 4 pm: Demonstration in Jaffna, in front of the main bus terminal.
- July 17 at 4 pm: Public meeting at the Public Library Auditorium, Colombo.
- August 11 in Hatton: at 11 am, a demonstration in front of the main bus terminal, followed at 2 pm by a public meeting at the CWF (Kamkaru Sevana) Hall.